Recently, a video clip of Tom Bilyeu interviewing motivational speaker, Simon Sinek on his show Inside Quest was circulating around Facebook Land. My daughter and I noticed it because it was titled “Simon Sinek Explains the Millennial Paradox.”
It peaked my and Jana’s interest because her daughter/my granddaughter is a Millennial.
We didn’t know who Tom Bilyeu or Simon Sinek were but we love millennials, so we clicked the play button and for 15 minutes were educated about the Millennial plight.
As we watched we were particularly drawn to Simon’s genuine nature. He seemed passionate about what he was talking about and believable. Simon began by defining how millennials have been described by leadership in corporations as entitled, narcissistic, unfocused, and lazy.
Then Simon went on to explain that millennials are the way they are because of poor parenting strategies, citing parents that gave their children what they wanted when they wanted it, creating an instant gratification generation and other parents that didn’t allow their child to fail, thus devaluing their achievements. Add to that poor coping mechanisms to deal with stress that Sinek attributed to addiction (to social media and cell phone) and finally he concludes that millennials have lower self-esteem than previous generation, through no fault of their own, that they were “dealt a bad hand.”
In his final admonishment he speaks to corporations, stating that “It’s a total lack of good leadership in our world today that is making them feel the way they do. They were dealt a bad hand. I hate to say it but it’s the companies responsibility, sucks to be you, like we have no choice, right? This is what we got, and I wish their parents and society would have done a better job. They didn’t, so we’re getting them in our companies and we now have to pick up the slack. We have to work extra hard to figure out the ways to build their confidence. We have to work extra hard to find ways to teach them the social skills they are missing out on.”
Then his pinnacle conclusion that the reason millennials are the way they are is because they were “dealt a bad hand” and that their best case scenario, “as an entire generation, was growing up and going through life and never really finding joy. They’ll just waft through life but never find joy” just broke our hearts.
So Jana and I set out to have a dialogue or table talk if you will about what we were hearing. I know this blog is longer but I want to introduce Jana to you and how a father/daughter combination can seriously discuss this issue of the Millennial Paradox. It’s a discussion that we ended up moving over to email and our separate blogs in order to capture our thoughts in writing so as to participate in the greater conversation.
Let me invite you to hear the conversation. Feel free to weigh in if you like.
Jerry: My first thought as I watched this guy, Simon, give his ‘expert’ opinion, his ‘diagnosis’ on the problem was that he offered no hope. Where is the hope?
Jana: You’re right dad. Although I felt hopeful when I initially started watching his talk, I realized that what I actually felt was his excitement as he set a tone of confidence regarding his knowledge of the topic. In the end, there was no hope in his message. It was dire diagnosis and all Simon could prescribe ultimately, was for corporations to bear the load and try to repair this generation the best they can.
Jerry: It’s interesting how perspective can expose issues. Much of what Simon said was funny and seemed to resonate an image of a millennial. Simon was very persuasive about identifying millennials but as I was listening my question was “Who is defining this?”